I’m going to precursor this post by saying, there’s going to be bouts of sadness inside of it as this is our first Christmas that we experience without Beau.
Admittedly, things feel extremely different for us without Beau and the grief process has been long and difficult, often leading my husband and I to burst into tears throughout the day. The oddest part about the grief process for me has been the need to reach out to others for support, especially from the cat community as I have found that they are truly the only folks who have been able to grasp and understand what a devastating time this has been for us.
I find it especially weird as my grief process in the past for the friends and family I have lost has been more personal and “to myself” however, this time around that has felt impossible to fully recess and I truly wonder if it’s due to the fact that Beau affected so many other cat’s lives, especially with his experience of enduring the P.U. Surgery.
So, I want to quickly take the time to thank all of our friends and readers from Pets Overload for providing my family the encouragement, support and shared grief during this hard time, because I truly don’t know how I would have/would be able to grieve this immense pain without those of you who understand just how special Beau was to me.
As an update on the grief process, it’s been oddly upsetting to receive e-mails with Beau’s name in them, such as e-mails for “products Beau would love” or “you should upgrade Beau’s microchip to this higher tier” as I obviously understand that these companies have no way of actually recognizing that Beau has left us, but it sparks that “Beau actually would have loved that” thought or in some cases they spark a negative thought of how much I hate when pet companies try to oversell useless upgrades, which are not thoughts I want to associate or have to navigate when still grieving Beau.
I don’t know if any of you have been in a similar situation, especially when it comes to holding resentments towards pet companies that are overselling products. It’s definitely lead me to unsubscribe from a number of e-mail lists I didn’t even know I was a part of as those are emotions I don’t want to take forward into 2021.
But onto the main reason for this post.
I didn’t know when I was going to break the news to the Pets Overload gang about Aramis as I want to make it clear that the adoption of Aramis was not a hasty one and we did not just “try to replace Beau.”
Aramis was actually a cat we met last year when we first visited my sister in Portugal.
At the time of meeting Aramis, she wasn’t doing well. She was pregnant with a litter of 5, was having difficulty breathing due to her allergies being flared up due to the pregnancy and we spent countless days tending to her needs by cleaning her nose, her eyes and making sure she was always fed and hydrated.
When Aramis finally had her litter of kittens, we spent every day outside making sure that they were well taken care of and tried to make sure that Aramis had the strength to take care of them all and I’m sad to say that only one kitten was able to survive through the process as the others were far too weak to make it. We can’t fully assume why this is, as many of the kittens had signs of allergies and nose blockages, however, we also noticed that Aramis only had “one good nip” which meant that only one of the babies grew quickly as we started to say goodbye to the others, unfortunately fairly common for litters, especially of her breed.
Although we had to say goodbye to Aramis as we had to return to Canada, my sister and her husband continued to take care of Aramis and Aramis’ baby, later taking in her baby and naming her Cleo.
My sister shortly took Aramis to the animal shelter in hopes of seeing whether or not anyone would claim her as their own, but did us the favour of asking them if they would allow her to adopt Aramis for us if she was left unclaimed, and low-and-behold, Aramis seemed to have no owners or at least no one coming forward after country-wide message blasts.
Thus begin the discussion of us quickly moving to Portugal and essentially becoming the new owners of Aramis.
My sister was extremely gracious, essentially taking care of Aramis and her 4 other cats for almost a year waiting for us to arrive. Things weren’t easy, because why would they be when you have 5 cats under your roof and quite frankly not all of her cats would get along with Aramis, oddly enough… especially her own daughter Cleo who always hisses at Aramis upon sight.
Aramis, though, is an extremely kind and loving cat. She’s a cat who purrs as soon as she sees a human and you can often tell where she’s hiding or sleeping as she’s a loud purrer, often sounding being called a motor boat by us.
Aramis much like Beau, loves to be pet and can always be picked up to be cuddled, though unlike Beau, she’s less of a potato who stays for hours in your lap and needs a bit of time off in between cuddles. Speaking of being less of a potato, Aramis also loves to play, letting out huge battle cries before she sprints around the house attacking any feather toy or catnip toy she desires.
Aramis’ regular meows don’t actually sound like meows though, closely resembling a “bah” from a sheep, quickly causing my sister and us to nickname her “Sheepie” though her most common nickname is currently Mishu. (Derived from the nickname Tiramisu.) Trust me, this cat has a plethora of nicknames already and I don’t see that stopping any time soon!
Speaking of Kalista, unfortunately Kalista doesn’t fully get along with Aramis yet. I can’t really complain though as the majority of the “not getting along” has been Kalista hissing at Aramis because Aramis got too up in her personal space, though Kalista has become extremely territorial of our bed, often hissing Aramis away from sleeping with us at night, though at this point Aramis sleeps at my husband’s feet and Kalista by our heads, so it seems like with enough space they are fine with sharing us.
I found this especially weird as before Beau passed, Kalista didn’t really sleep with us. Instead she would normally sleep on a high-up place, though admittedly on some occasions she would she would sleep by my husband’s head or on very, very rare occasions by my feet while Beau was by my side.
I’m wondering if due to Beau’s passing, Kalista found it more acceptable to sleep with us and began claiming the bed as her own terroritory as she hasn’t spent a night without us since.
I’m sure things will change though and quite frankly it’s a huge blessing that we can have both cats roam around the house freely without the fear of them hitting or scratching each other, which is not commonly the case, especially with territorial or aggressive cats.
We also have to have separate blankets when sitting at our desk in case one of the cats jumps on our laps. Kalista will hiss and growl in our lap if Aramis used a blanket or vice versa, which we know will change over time, but lucky for us we love blankets!
Before we moved, which happened early last week, we tried slowly introducing the cats at my sister’s house, since we all lived there.
Beau took to Aramis much better than we thought he would, as he was a bit stressed out when he met Kalista. It was weird though, Beau was completely fine with Aramis until he saw Kalista hiss at her, then Beau started trembling and we ended up removing him immediately, taking him back to his safe space downstairs as we did not want to impose any extra stress on him.
Little did we know that it would be the last time Beau saw Aramis, but I’ll note that we continued to try to introduce Kalista and Aramis at my sister’s house to see if we could get them to get along before ultimately moving and re-introducing Aramis to Beau. The hope was if we could get Kalista to like Aramis, Beau would have no reason to fear Aramis as he initially was perfectly fine with her.
Flash back forward to now, Aramis and Kalista love spending time in my office. They both have different sides that they sit at with minimal growling and hissing.
Kalista still gets upset if Aramis gets too close to her and invades her personal space, though again we’re so grateful that’s the extent of it and that there is no hitting, swatting or scratching.
We’re happy to have Aramis join us on our journey and to ultimately become a member of the Pets Overload household and we can’t wait to share the adventures we get up to with her.